I would like to make an appeal to those that do not already work out. TikTok and Instagram are rife with exercise motivation, recommendations, and many more health-related posts and videos. This may be confusing or even annoying to some as this side of social media can be overwhelming. This is a niche that is chock-full of information just waiting to be thrown at the user, yet, this can be used to achieve a deluge of goals, whether they be personal or practical. My purpose is to simplify this niche to those that do not already understand it and perhaps convert some to this lifestyle of personal growth.
Now, you may be asking questions, such as:
What are the benefits of exercising?
How do I make time for exercising?
Why should I exercise?
Should I join a gym?
What exercises should I do for (body part)?
What should my nutrition look like?
These are all pivotal questions that will determine what you should be more disciplined in and what your motivations are. Firstly, we should be cognizant of the benefits of exercising. According to the CDC and Mayo Clinic, the practical benefits of exercise are:
Strengthening your bones and muscles
Reducing your risk of depression and anxiety
Increasing your confidence
Weight management (gaining or losing)
Reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and some cancers
Increasing your chances of living longer
It has been these benefits and many more that millions of people have testified of that millions of others can experience as well. These testimonies continuously appear on social media, which is a net positive for these people and an encouragement for others working towards such an ideal.
Secondly, the way that you will exercise is particularly important. You cannot do one hundred pushups or bench presses every day and immediately expect there to be massive change. You must let the muscles rest for one to two days before you work them out again. There are two main regiments that are recommended for this purpose, and they are:
Push-pull: This is when you target specific muscle groups because they are considered “pushing” or “pulling” muscles. In this workout routine, there is a separate day for working out the legs (this depends on who you ask, but I would make it a separate day).
Opposites: This is when you work out the biceps and triceps on the same day (you can include shoulders on this day as well). The same goes for the chest and back. In this routine, there is a separate day for legs as well.
There are numerous exercise routines on the internet, and you must discern with which ones you are comfortable. On YouTube, there are beginner workout videos galore. There are also many ways that you can do these exercise routines. The traditional way of doing these exercises is in sets. Sets are a combination of repetitions done in a row. For example, in my workouts a set would be equivalent to ten repetitions of the same exercise, whether it be bench presses or triceps pulldowns. For you, it may be five reps (shorthand for repetitions), or it may even be one. That is okay, since you have only just started.
Access to workout materials may be an issue for you. That is fine. Not only does Madison have a great weight training gym, but bodyweight exercises are a great and cost-effective way for you to achieve your fitness goals as well. That has been my mainstay since I was in middle school. Great health practices can never be gatekept by wealth.
Thirdly, diets are formative to this journey of fitness. As I have come to learn from experience, working out is just part of the battle. Your diet is just as, and maybe even more, important as exercising. There are many diets out there, and you want to pick one that would be pertinent to your health goals. If you want to gain muscle or lose weight, the keto and carnivore diets are both high-protein diets that may help. You may approach some of these diets with skepticism. That is completely healthy. However, there are many videos and books available on this subject and there are many testimonies of people that have gone through all kinds of diets expressing what they believed were pros and cons. I believe the main problem that America has is that we eat too much processed junk, so as far as I understand the facts, it does not really matter what diet you go with. All that really matters is that you are comfortable with the diet and that it is yielding the results that you want.
Overall, there is almost nothing but good that can come out of working out frequently and intelligently. I ask those that want to embark on this journey of personal growth to do things with caution and precision. You may need help along the way. There are many channels that I have looked at to help me understand an issue: influencers like Jeff Nippard and Sean Nalewanyj and channels like Bodybuilding.com have had an effect on the way I view working out as a whole, even if I may not always agree with their advice. I highly recommend these channels, whether you are starting on your journey or not.